ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward said prior to Monday night's game that he hoped Andy Ibáñez, who was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the day, would provide a "jolt" in the lineup.
Maybe next time the Rangers skipper can tell us the next set of Powerball numbers too.
In their first meeting of the season, the Rangers beat up on the Oakland A's by a score of 8-3. Ibáñez helped blow the game wide open early with a three-run blast, which was also the first home run of his Major League career. Another three-run home run by Jose Trevino in the sixth inning padded the Rangers' lead and effectively put the game out of reach.
"A really happy moment for him, man," Woodward said of Ibáñez. "I know he's put a lot of time and effort into this game. To get the opportunity, come back up here, and make an immediate impact like that, it was obviously pretty satisfying for everyone, but especially for him. I'm really happy for him."
After Chris Woodward had previously said publicly his team needs to take advantage of early opportunities in the first inning, the Rangers batted around in the inning and scored five runs. The offensive explosion gave starting pitcher Kyle Gibson plenty of run support on a night that felt a bit weird to him and every other pitcher that took the mound.
Major League Baseball's enforcement of umpire's checking for banned substances took effect on Monday night, and every pitcher who entered the game — both starters included — were checked for anything suspicious.
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The Texas right-handed pitcher was coming off a victory against the Los Angeles Angels.
"It went about as I thought it would," Gibson said. "I think there's things with the rule and the checks [the league] can iron out. But the umpires have a tough job. They're trying to figure out what's normal and try to do it an uniform and consistent as possible. I appreciate that."
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The Rangers will look to build off their win tomorrow night when the host the A's for the second of a four-game series. Jordan Lyles was initially penciled in to start, but the Rangers announced after Monday night's win that Taylor Hearn will start instead. It will be his second career start.
Woodward said the decision to go with Hearn was based more on giving Lyles a bit of rest. However, performance wasn't completely void in the decision.
"I can't discount performance. It has something to do with it," Woodward said. "But I think the 'blow' is more designed so his performance in the future can be better."
More on SI's Inside The Rangers:
- Woodward On Rangers' Struggles: "The Fans Need To Know What's Happening"
- 'We Need To Play Better Baseball': Rangers Squander Early Opportunity In 3-2 Loss To Twins
- Curtis Terry Raking In Triple-A, On Rangers' Radar
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